Ice­land pre­mier loses coali­tion, re­signs

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

COPENHAGEN, Den­mark — Ice­land’s pres­i­dent Satur­day ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion of the vol­canic is­land’s prime min­is­ter, who says a new elec­tion most likely will be held on Nov. 4.

Prime Min­is­ter Bjarni Benedik­ts­son lost his 9-month, cen­ter-right coali­tion after one party quit over an at­tempt by the prime min­is­ter’s fa­ther to help clear the name of a con­victed pe­dophile.

Pres­i­dent Gudni Th. Jo­han­nes­son met Satur­day with Benedik­ts­son and was meet­ing with other party lead­ers later in the day.

A small cen­trist party, Bright Fu­ture, quit the rul­ing coali­tion Fri­day after it emerged that Benedik­ts­son’s fa­ther had writ­ten a let­ter urg­ing a par­don for Hjalti Sig­ur­jon Hauks­son, who was con­victed in 2004 of rap­ing his step­daugh­ter al­most ev­ery day for 12 years.

Un­der Ice­land’s ju­di­cial sys­tem, a per­son who has served a sen­tence for a se­ri­ous crime can ap­ply to au­thor­i­ties to “re­store their honor” and seek em­ploy­ment again, mean­ing their crim­i­nal record is erased.

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